Time Limit: 4-6 minutes

Main Points

  1. You can create success in spite of difficult circumstances.
  2. Even when you’re doing everything you can, unforeseen hardships can derail your plans.
  3. Don’t take ownership of misfortune. Just because something bad happens, that doesn’t mean it’s the end.
  4. Take every opportunity to create new opportunities.

Reasons for Joining Toastmasters

  1. As the CEO of Best Cellular, I’ve been asked to speak at prepaid wireless events with up to 30,000 attendees but declined due to lack of speaking experience.
  2. I’ve recently been contacted by major publications such as The Capital Forum to weigh in on topics such as the Sprint/T-Mobile merger and how it will affect cellular consumers in the United States. I need to become a better speaker.
  3. As an author, I need to perfect my elevator pitch to describe my book and be able to communicate effectively if asked to speak at a motivational or inspirational seminar.

Goals

  1. Connect with my audience as a person, not just a speaker.
  2. Improve my relatability as a speaker, a boss, and a leader.
  3. I want to become an effective, relatable speaker in order to better represent the companies I steward.

Opening

A. Greeting

Greetings Mister/Madam Toastmaster, fellow club members, and honored guests. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to break the ice and connect with all of you!

B. Capture audience interest

People who know me outside of Toastmasters often describe me as a CEO, a leader, and hopefully soon, a best-selling author.

Friends might describe me as a thrill seeker. Although all that is true, I would like to introduce you to the version of me that the general public doesn’t often see.

C. Introduce yourself

My name is Matthew Curtis McCoy but I go by Curtis. I’m a survivor, a leader, and an author. I’ve been an inventor and an entrepreneur since grade school.

D. Transition

Even though I have a lot of personal drive, I’ve also had my share of personal difficulties.

Body

A. Main point 1

I’ve had Type 1 diabetes since I was 27 months old and have experienced frequent grand mal seizures from a young age.

In spite of this constant struggle, I built a successful life. By the time I was 25 years old, I was running numerous companies in Denver including a cosmetic medical LASER franchise, a company that distributes pharmaceutical grade injectable research peptides, a health and fitness forum with tens of thousands of members online, and a Christian clothing company. I also owned a nutritional supplement company that was sponsoring MMA fights, bodybuilding shows and other events that had me connected to all sorts of interesting people. I was achieving my dreams and making good money.

Transition

All of that changed on July 24th, 2009. I was diagnosed with a malignant glioblastoma (brain tumor).

B. Main point 2

Although my memory was deteriorating, and I was experiencing seizures daily, I continued trying to run my businesses until I woke up one morning, six months later, with the right side of my body paralyzed.

An ambulance took me to Sweedish Medical Center in Denver and after performing CT Scans, MRIs and a series of other tests, the doctors told my parents I only had a couple months to live.

The main oncologist put his hand on my mom’s shoulder and told her to, “make some good memories while I was still here.” He told her, “I wish I had better news” as he walked out of the hospital room.

Daily seizures made it impossible to live alone. My parents wanted to help with the seizures and medication schedule so I moved from my apartment in Denver to live with them in Crawford, CO.

I lost the ability to drive, my friends in Denver and the companies I’d worked so hard to build. My parents lived in an old one-bedroom cabin that was 35 miles from the nearest stop light. I slept on an inflatable mattress that went flat each night.

Since the doctors in America gave me no hope of survival, we began making trips to Tijuana, Mexico to try out some alternative cancer treatments.

Transition

I had lost my social life, my businesses, and the ability to ride my new motorcycle. Life looked like it was coming to an end.

In an effort to get my mind off the brain cancer and losing everything I thought was important, my mom encouraged me to start another business in Hotchkiss. I began advertising locally and fixing broken iPhone screens and soon my first phone store was drowning in customers from surrounding areas.

C. Main point 3

Over the next few years, that first little phone store in Hotchkiss grew to become a nationwide cellphone company called Best Cellular. We launched Best Cellular using the same towers as the largest carriers in America with the goal of creating American jobs while providing cheaper, more flexible phone plans.

With ongoing monitoring and treatment, I’m still alive and pursuing my dreams, years after receiving a death sentence. Today, the phone company I started ships phones, SIM Cards, and accessories to customers all over the United States.

Transition

As Best Cellular began to expand nationwide and our social influence grew, I was able to surround myself with incredibly successful people once again. I was inspired by their insights on success and realized that others could be as well.

D. Main point 4

I began writing my first book called Success, Motivation & Inspiration in 2016. The book combines interviews of successful entrepreneurs, war heroes, investors, CEOs, public speakers and leaders with personal insights and life lessons.

Success, Motivation & Inspiration will be available online and in major bookstores nationwide this coming year…

Conclusion

E. Restate the main points of your speech

From early success to catastrophic low points, and on the road to creating a nationwide market presence in multiple arenas, I’ve experienced my share of highs and lows.

F. Close with impact

I’d like to leave you with this: Don’t ever give up. Just because a doctor says you’re going to die, that doesn’t mean God agrees. Anything is possible for those who decide to reach out and grab it!

This Icebreaker speech is now available as an eBook on Amazon! The eBook is called Developing Success, Motivation & Inspiration.